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Parking lots should be taxed like buildings, Ouellette says

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Mayoral candidate Robert-Falcon Ouellette promises to tax the dozens of empty parking lots downtown like they were four-storey buildings.

Ouellette, in an announcement today beside one of the 208 surface parking lots downtown, said the promise would raise $26 million in extra revenue for the city.

"Buildings have gone missing like teeth from a mouth," he said.

Ouellette said it is not only an eyesore, but the dead zones also lead to perceptions that downtown is unsafe.

Other promises Ouellette made include working with the province to add a special Winnipeg infrastructure tax to property tax bills of people who live in the capital region but use city infrastructure and services, bump the hotel accommodation tax from five to seven per cent, make school boards collect their own taxes, and only raise property and business taxes as "a last resort."

"I will not promise not to freeze taxation... I won’t raise taxes past the rate of inflation."

Meanwhile, later today, candidate Brian Bowman will speak about homelessness in the city and Gord Steeves will talk about downtown development.

Kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

 

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